USL is roughly a month into the season at this point, and with teams settling into the groove, comes a local rivalry clash in Southern California. LA
USL is roughly a month into the season at this point, and with teams settling into the groove, comes a local rivalry clash in Southern California. LA Galaxy II will host Orange County SC on Saturday in the first competitive 405 Derby of 2017.
Yes, the teams technically have met already this year, in preseason, with OCSC winning that 4-0. But of course, it was preseason and Saturday’s game is in front of the (somewhat) bright lights, visible for the world to see which team will take the upper hand in the 2017 series.
Historically, Galaxy II have dominated the series between these clubs, although Orange County took the season series last year for the first time. And as we know in USL, the impermanence of team rosters year to year means past results are usually irrelevant to the crop of fresh faces who line up each season.
On form alone, Orange County would appear to have the upper hand, having won two of their three games so far this season. They are coming out of their first bye week, as they await the start of their home slate, which won’t begin until May 6 against the same LA side, and it can sometimes be a guessing game to determine how teams react to having a week off of game action. But Logan Pause appears to have gotten his side off to a great start to the season. The only real concern? OCSC’s lone loss to date was a complete blowout, 4-0 to Sacramento Republic. Was that a blip, or a sign of a topsy-turvy run of form to continue?
Meanwhile, LA have struggled more on a form front, dropping three straight, including a home loss last week against Seattle, after winning the season opener. In all reality, these teams are separated by just three points in the standings at the moment, but the three-game skid is tied for the longest in Galaxy II history and there are concerns that the path of the organization’s reserve team is going to be bumpier than ever before based on early results.
All that said, it’s a rivalry game, and those can often ignore form and turn into a figurative brawl (if not occasionally stepping over the line to actual brawl). And these teams have had more than their share of chippy games against each other over the years. But with new coaches and largely new rosters on both sides this year, will that trend prevail? Will one team take a lead in the season series, with two more left in the 405 Derby series of 2017? We’ll find out on Saturday.
LA Galaxy II vs. Orange County SC will kick off at 7:30 pm PT at StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium. You can buy tickets to the game here, and if you can’t watch in person, check out the game on USL’s matchcenter.